SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

Select the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

After discovering a permanent marker in a kitchen drawer, my two-year-old nephew left ------- scribbles all over my sister's walls. 

A. indelible
B. fallacious
C. altruistic
D. inept
E. ambivalent

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up the answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully, then predict what you think the answer should be.  A permanent marker would leave permanent marks on the walls, so use that as a prediction and check the answer choices.

A. The word “indelible” come from the Latin roots “in,” meaning “not or the opposite of,” and “delebilis,” meaning “able to be destroyed.”  Something indelible cannot be destroyed or removed.  This choice matches our prediction, so keep it.

B.  “Fallacious” means “deceptive or misleading.”  A useful trick for remembering the meaning of “fallacious” is to think about the word “false” which sounds similar and means something similar.   This does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

C. "Debilitate" comes from the Latin "debilitare," meaning "to weaken."  To debilitate someone or something is to make that person or thing weak and potentially infirm.  This is the opposite of our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

D. An “altruistic” person is likely to donate money, do charity work, and share readily with others.  “Altruism” is “unselfish concern for others.”  This does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

E. The word "ambivalent" was coined in 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleuler.  As a psychological term, "ambivalent" means "having conflicting meanings," but it can also mean "having several possible meanings."  This does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

The correct answer is A.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary. Dan Harper. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

Words used in this SC:

indelible: permanent
fallacious: deceptive or misleading
altruistic: unselfishly concerned about the welfare of others
inept: awkward or unskilled
ambivalent: having several possible meanings

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